Just weekend things …


About six months ago, I was preparing our Sunday meal when I had an idea. We were having tray bake (we don’t do traditional IMAG0817Sunday lunch type food) which was basically roughly chopped IMAG0816peppers, courgettes, onions with new potatoes and chicken thighs all mixed with olive oil and crushed garlic. I’ve got a picture somewhere but not sure where. Anyway, to the point. I was just about to throw the bit of the pepper that you don’t use, in the bin when I wondered if the seeds would grow. I’ve never had much luck with growing stuff from seed, but I thought I had nothing to lose. Within a week, the seeds had started to grow, and within a month I had nine small plants. Now six months on I have nine larger plants, with flowers and the first showing of some peppers. This has totally amazed me as I never even thought he seeds would grow. We shall see what we will get.

<><><><><><><><><>

Today is the first day of the 2018 “Leeds Festival” or as it is known locally “Leeds Fest”. It is one of the large music festivals that happen over the year and it runs at the same time as the “Reading Festival”. Both have the leeds_festivalsame acts over three days. Leeds is held at Bramham Park, which is extremely close to where we live. I have been back in 2011 and 2012 as local residents are allowed to purchase concessionary for the whole three days as part of a compensation pack. What happens is that the organisers donate a number of tickets to the parish council of Bramham, Clifford and Thorner (who are the most affected) and they sell them to the residents at a vastly discounted price. I think this year, the tickets were in the region of £40.00 for the three days in what is called the Guest Area, which is a much better camp-site then the general public get. So we get a few days of traffic disruption, a bit of disturbance during the night from the music and the local area gets some extra funding. As mentioned, I did got to the 2011 festival, and have great memories of dancing to Madness and seeing Ed Sheeran as an up and coming newcomer. There is a YouTube video of a band called “Bring Me The BMTH 2011Horizon” or BMTH, finishing their set with a massive ‘circle pit’. The sound is pretty bad but, I can say that I was in the midst of it and it was as scary as it looks. From what I can remember, I was towards the bottom right when you look at the video. The guy next to me, at the time said I was in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ and advised me that the safest thing to do was to run !! K*** says that it would kill me if I did it now … it nearly killed me then!

I had a ticket for 2012, but the weather was very wet, and I was not that desperate to see many of the bands so I gave most of them a miss. Although I did get to see Foo Fighters, The Cure and Florence And The Machine, so not all that bad.

And now, in time honoured fashion for ‘Leeds Fest’ … it’s raining !

It’s the August Bank Holiday and Leeds Festival …


This is that time of the year, when the Leeds and Reading Festival takes place. These are two of the largest music festivals in the UK, and take place simultaneous over Friday to Sunday. There are usually the same acts appearing at both sites over the Image result for leeds festival 2017three days. I was going to link to festival, but know of old that these links often simply disappear, so I’m going to make do with a couple of images. We live quite close to the site, so we get all the traffic and noise issues. Happily, Image result for leeds festival 2017the organisers seem to have got the traffic problems under control this year, as there has not (yet) been a repeat of the 5 hour tail-backs on some of the approach roads. The noise? Well it all depend on the wind direction. If the wind is in a certain direction, we do get the continuous hum from the motorway so when  that happens we do get some of the festival noise, but it’s not been loud enough to notice.

I have been before, back in 2011. The Parish Council of Bramham and Thorner are allocated a number of free ‘Guest’ tickets. From BBC NewsThese ‘sweetener tickets’ are then sold to genuine residents at an extremely discounted rate, with the funds going to local projects. Every year since 2011, I’ve thought about going again, but at the last minute, I back down. I don’t think K*** would enjoy it and I wouldn’t want to go on my own. But who knows how I will feel next year? I have to admit, even though the weather was bad that year with some rain on each of the 3 days, it is quite an experience. The weather has been sort of kind this year, except for the 23rd this month, when we experienced 3 weeks rain in one hour! Now that was a wet day!

===============

I’ve come to a decision! Crochet is not my thing and I’m dumping my hooks (except a 3.5mm and 6mm). I can knit. I do knit. I will have a go at any knitting pattern or stitch that you care to through at me, but I totally fail at crochet. I just cannot get my head/hands around it. I’ve watched all the tutorials and even had a ‘one-to-one’ with a work colleague and I still cannot do it. It looks like the old ‘Granny knots’ we used to do when I was a kid. So I’m calling it a day. I’ll keep the two hooks I mention, as they can be very useful to pick up dropped stitches and the like, but the rest …gone!

‘Twas the night before etc etc…


Motifs download - December 10_colourWell, we have got as far as we can. Veg is prepared, table is set and the presents are scattered under the TV. ‘Under the TV’ I hear you question? We have a small fibre-optic tree, which is not really big enough to put the presents under. In the past we have done the real tree, in fact one year we even had a tree that we planted in the garden. But it died! So for the past 10 years or so, we have had the ‘small fibre-optic’ tree. I think though, it is time we sent this one to the great re-cycle plant. I have had to replace the bulb and the whole thing leans to one side. So I think it has passed it’s ‘Display Until’ date by a couple of years.

images

I’m not, and I think I may have mentioned this (probably every year) a huge fan of Christmas. I hate what it has become. When I was a child, Christmas was an  amazing time of the year. It was about Christmas Carols, families, pantomime. We never, ever were asked ‘What do you want for Christmas?” XMAS PUDWe got what we were given and were happy about that. We had, what had become a traditional Christmas dinner. Turkey, roast potatoes, carrots, sprouts (ugh) sage and onion stuffing and what seemed like, gallons of gravy. If you could manage it, Christmas pudding followed and in our house we always had custard, not brandy sauce, we were just kids after all. Afterwards, we would watch the Queen, then settle down to watch a variety show.

Now what do we get? It’s called ‘Christmas Lunch’ and although the Turkey is still there, we now see things like Kaletts on the menu. The stuffing has changed to ‘Chestnut and Chive’. Christmas pudding now comes in many flavours, even as an ice-cream. In some places, it is not even served and we get some kind of overpriced chocolate mousse that bears no resemblance to Christmas, apart from the picture of a red candle on the packaging.

I don’t want to get started on television, but … why do we need to see programs that are on everyday? I mean the ‘soaps’ of course? Do we really need to see ‘bumper’ editions of EastEnders/Coronation Street/Emmerdale? Really! Is it also necessary to have ‘Christmas Specials’ of reality shows? I mean come on, Strictly Come Dancing has only just finished and we are treated to the Christmas Special.

images

Music. Now there is another cause for a rant. We were at my sister-in-laws for a family get together on Thursday. When we arrived, the TV was on and tuned to one of the many music channels. It was playing the ‘MTV Top 40 Christmas songs”. This in itself is not such a bad thing. It had reached number 5, and they were of course songs from the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, which everybody knows and supposedly loves. This of course finished after they had played the number 1, Band-Aid’s “Do they know It’s Christmas?” A very popular and catchy song at the time and still is relevant today. We were then treated to a few adverts before the next program … ‘MTV Top 20 All Time Christmas Hits.’ I will allow you only one guess what was at number 1.

Tonight, we watched the Christmas Carol service from Kings College, Oxford … do I need to say anymore?

images

So now, all I have to say is a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all who read this.

Some good, some not so …


I took the car in for service and MOT on Friday. All passed without any problems. Tyres might need a check before Christmas but other than that, all was goo. Eldest lads car went in at same time. His, not so good! He needs new tyres again. That will be the second lot in three years. Driving style, road quality and luck are the most likely culprits,or so the service department said.

As I was off for the full day, K*** thought it would be a good time to go into York whilst we waited. So we did the ‘Park & Ride’ which was a first for us. The garage dropped us off and promised to pick us up and it cost £2.80 each for a return ticket. A bargain, I thought.

We had a nice lunch, and then did a tour of the shops. That is were the ‘not so good’ came in for me. I’m still looking for a couple of pairs of lounge/jogging pants (mainly lounge as opposed to jogging) and we started to look in the obvious sports type shops. Ridiculously expensive for both the brand names and the unknown and nothing in my size. I was now starting to get a bit fed up. We then went into one of the major well know high street stores. I won’t ‘name and shame’ because they are all the same really. Found a pair that were exactly my size, and I totted off into the changing rooms to try them on. As usual, the size on the label bore no resemblance to real life. I asked the assistant if there was a manger available and I explained to her the problem. You see I have an inside leg measurement of 29”. The pants I picked up said they were a 29” leg. I asked if she would measure the pants. She reluctantly agreed and to her amazement they actually measured 34”. Apologies followed and she went looking for more styles. Five more 29” pants were measured, with the sizes ranging for 31” to an amazing 36”. To make those fit, I would need armholes instead of a waist band. This size problem seems to be an issue in many stores, and I’m of the opinion that the leg size is just an estimate or possibly an opinion.

===============

Well today is Bank Holiday Monday or as it is now called the Bank Holiday Weekend. In fact Bank Holiday now start around 15:30 on the Thursday before and lasts to around 08:00 Tuesday morning!

This weekend saw the annual Leeds music festival, more commonly known as “Leeds Fest”. It’s held in Bramham Park, which is literally just over the road from where we live in Bramham village. Apart from the traffic disruption as thousands of people descend on the park, it has little effect in my opinion. There is the noise issue, but if the wind is in the right direction we hear very little. We hear more noise from the A1 (the road I mentioned earlier) which seems to have a continuous drone with the amount of traffic.

Because of the location, Bramham is allocated a number of weekend VIP tickets and residents can take up the tickets with a donation to the various causes in Bramham. These tickets are at a extremely discounted price and go very quickly.

I’ve been the festival twice, in previous years and seen fantastic acts such as Sea Sick Steve, Madness and the first year I went, Ed Sheeran was a new and upcoming musician.

The line-up this year was not to my particular taste, and there was no-one I was particularly interested in watching. Maybe next year.

Stress Factor – Not X Factor


This of course relates to work. Not exclusively, but in the main, it’s all work related. The latest restructure is beginning to have it’s effect on the team (and I use the term loosely.) Tempers are getting a little frayed and certain people are beginning to jockey for position. For me, it seems that I’m being, shall we say ‘realigned’  workwise. When I was interviewed for the job, there was no mention of it being a supervisory role. However, about four months ago, my line manager advised me that our service manager wanted me to supervise, the two staff below me. It was a bit of a shock, and to be honest, it’s not what I wanted from the job.

Last week, in our so called ‘one-to-one’ meeting I explained to my line manager about my understanding of the job, and not knowing that I was expected to be a supervisor. I was then told that I was being manoeuvred for a higher position in the the new structure. Now considering that the new structure seems to be very fluid, I have no idea what that position could be.

I don’t like supervising people. I’ve done allsorts of training and I still don’t like it. It’s not something that comes naturally to me. I appear to have two supervisory methods. My catering method and my office method. The catering method, and it is used extensively in the trade, is to shout and swear very loudly until the job is done. My office method is more of a sweet talking method. The ‘can you do me a favour’ method. Unfortunately, these are not interchangeable.

It is the thought of being a supervisor, that is causing some of the stress. That and having some people having a higher expectation of me than I think I can deliver.

——————————————————————-

     You’ve heard of the famous ‘mid life crisis’? Well I always understood that to be around the 45 to 55  years of age. If that’s correct, then I am just beyond the tail end of of that condition. But here is the worrying thing. I have started listening to Radio 1 on the way to work. In the old car, I always listened to Radio Leeds, mainly for the traffic news. In the new car, the radio is completely different, and I’ve not worked out why local radio stations don’t pick up so well. So after a couple of mornings, I pressed the button for the said Radio 1, and I quite enjoyed the music and the banter of the current breakfast show.

     Now you may not think of this as such an issue, and neither did I, until I started purchasing some of the music I heard. This car plays MP3 tracks and has a USB port. All this leads to me buying a 32gb memory stick and copying lots of this newly discovered music. I know listen to Radio 1 in the morning, and the rest of the time, I am belting out tracks from the likes of ‘Example’, ‘Professor Green’, ‘Labyrinth’ and even ‘Jessie J’, When I mention this to people, they just raise their eyes, shake their heads and laugh to themselves. It is a new beginning. I am saved from from the perpetual boredom of local radio. God bless Tinie Tempah. Now,  if you will excuse me, I’m going to listen to a couple of tracks from Wretch32 before bed.

So now what ….


     Well it’s been over a month since my last post, and I really think I need to put ‘fingers to keyboard’ if you’ll excuse the paraphrase. I suppose my last posting was more of a rant than anything else, but I still cannot get over the price of postage from Hong Kong. I have had another ‘bargain’ from the web. I like writing with a fountain pen. I have a couple of Parker pens, you know, the ones with the arrow pocket clip, but I wanted one that used real ink. I bought one from eBay (not mention the price, but it was cheap) and decided that I wanted blue/black ink. It reminded me of my schooldays. A quick trip at lunchtime to that high street stationers with the common English name, left me lost for words. Well words that can be said in polite company anyway !! A standard bottle of Quink ink (only the best) came in at a staggering £7.98. Even their own brand was only 49p cheaper. I could hear the internet calling me.  I now have a bottle of the said blue/black ink, at the more reasonable price of  £3.97.

     Anyone sick of Comic Relief yet? I don’t have a problem with the idea behind the on going project of Comic Relief. No, the problem I have, is the celebrity hijacking of the concept. The clue is in the title …. Comic !!!! I think it should be, like they keep saying on the TV, ‘Do something funny for money"’, which is a brilliant tagline. So why do we see, every week, on the CR dancing program, a jumped up bunch of kids called One Direction. It appears that these nonentities have done a video,in Africa, where they visit various places, and stand around looking shocked and distraught at the poverty and desolation, before flying back to the UK, probably business class, to earn another £100k peddling their drivel that passes for music. I say, take the money that is spent on that trip, and use that to help the needy in Africa. If the BBC think that the tearful expressions on some  overpaid ‘boy band’ is likely to make me put my hand in my pocket …….

Here endeth the second rant !

    What else has pissed me off ?? Maybe for another day then.

     I would like to revisit, part of the first line of this post “….it’s been over a month since my last post….”. I am sat here, whiskey to the left of my keyboard, thinking, why is this? The conclusion I have come to is one of three things: inspiration, motivation and laziness! I could also add ‘timing’, but that is for another day. Basically, writing wise, I’m lazy. I sit at the computer, every night, from around 10pm and what do I do? I go on Facebook or Twitter. I read online newspapers. I read other peoples blogs. What I should be doing is writing!!! But then the motivation kicks in. “What is the point?” I will say to myself. “Very few people read my stuff!” So with no motivation, any inspiration I may have, get trampled before I start. I recently subscribed to a magazine dedicated to writing. I, even more recently, cancelled that subscription. It did nothing for me. No motivation, no inspiration, nothing. I have to say, my creative spirit is wavering at the moment.

     Now, on a completely different track …… I have started knitting again! I bet that shook you! I have been a knitter for about 45 years. Maybe a little longer. I started, when I became fascinated with knitted baby clothes, and their prices. My mother told me it was ten times cheaper to knit a matinee coat (remember them anyone??) than to buy one. So she showed me how to start and some very very basic stiches, and off I went. About a week later I showed off with a pair of blue, double knit mittens. Granted, they were different sizes, with no way of actually making them stay on baby’s hand (no ribbon to tie them on with, as I did learn how to make a hole until the following week) but still it was a great achievement.

     Since then, I have knitted many baby clothes, a large angora bat-wing jumper, a beautiful cable stitched Shetland cardigan and many more things. And now I have started again. It is all the fault of a new weekly magazine that has two balls of wool on the cover. I’m into magazine 6, but I think it will be the last one. At £4.50 a week it has become too expensive, but it has been good to revitalise an interest, that I was quite good at.

     Well, that’s it for now, but I hope to start blogging a bit more often from now.

Catch up …..


It was R***’s last day at school on Thursday. He’s been there for the past 16 years and I bet there was a few tears shed at school. Then again, he will be back there on Monday, as he is on the Summer Play Scheme. He looked very smart in his shirt and tie. Each leaver or graduate as they called them received their certificate to the sound of some music. They chose Queens ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ which is not something I would associate him with, but there you go.He starts at his college on 13 August. An ominous date, but least it’s not a Friday. He has only had 2 visits, but they seemed to go well from all accounts. Problem is that he will not realise that this is going to be his ‘new school’ so to speak. There could be some testing days ahead.

Talking of testing times. I have moved desks at work. Well, saying that,what I actually mean is that I now have a desk. I have been hot desking for the past six weeks. Sitting where ever there was s desk that nobody was sat at, which is not a good feeling. Not knowing from week to week where I will be sitting. Well now I have a desk. It is the desk that my new boss had set up for me in the first place. However one of the team thought I should sat with the team, rather than sat with the boss. It does not matter to me. I just want a desk !!! They guy that wanted me to ‘sit with the team’ might not be too pleased. Could be a fun day tomorrow.